I've owned this HR31 GTS-X Coupe for 15 years this October/November.
It has seen some changes over the years and a lot of wasted dollars spent improving and iterating as time has gone by.
Hopefully the current build will be close to what I want to achieve and it will be time to move onto other machines and enjoy what I hope will be this cars final form.
A run down of the iterations (that I have am aware of). First...Why the name?
Through each iteration of this car there was always fun made of the intake noises of this R31 and a previous N/A R31 wagon I owned. It was compared to the asthmatic penguin from Toy Story.
So the name stuck as each generation the car gets even more ridiculous for intake & exhaust noises.
Manufactured ~Sept 1987 (Black over Gray two tone - Auto)
Originally Sold at Nissan Osaka somewhere between 1987-1988 (had a sticker on the rear bumper, but could be a service thing)
Unknown history whilst in Japan (Not sure when it was converted to Manual) First Australia Owner
Owned by a nephew of one of the Nispro owner(s)? 1997-2004
TBH I was naive and should have never purchased the car. Sadly, still common for unloved imports that sit for a long time and as all modified imports seem to be, what was promised was not what I purchased (the car needed a LOT of love).
Also the car smelt like ass and had some sort of fungal cream container under the seat when I got it. My Original Purchase
Originally had the RB20DET Redtop (no 6 was low on comp unbeknownst to me, ping=power right?) with an RB25 turbo, Wolf 3d V4 (strangely with V3 loom?), HKS cat back exhaust, some crap 16" CSA wheels and blown suspension. (at some point early on I put it into a gutter with the blown suspension, retreads and crap driving skills which took a month to find a new rear control arm).
I gave the car a major service (water pump, timing belt, fluids etc) and was charged a fortune by the workshop (again Naive at the time).
I put Pedders springs and shocks in as that was all that was really available off the shelf (huge mistake as Pedders put softer springs than factory in the rear).
I replaced the leaking cut down truck core (as was the style in the early 2000s apparently) with a Hybrid brand and installed a front / dump pipe.
I had the car tuned where I was told the previous owner tuned it and it made ~140rwkw and I drove it for ~3 months.
Eventually we had spark breakdown and massive coil pack issues, breathing issues (turbo seals and some bad plumbing of breathers) so ended up in having the compression checked, this is where we found #6 was ~90psi (hence the 140rwkw down from a supposed 200rwkw) and we decided to pull the engine and look for a Silvertop RB20DET from an R32 GTST.
I am pretty sure the care never made more than ~170 (found a dyno sheet among the old owners stuff) as the fuel pump and injectors were factory (again ping=power right?).
I cannot seem to find any pictures from this era
Wheezy Phase 1
The first phase of this car really being my build was when I found an auto RB20DET from a wrecker complete with ECU, loom, turbo etc.
We spent ~3 months fixing wiring as the Wolf installation was an abortion, so we decided to go factory ECU and just keep the turbo back exhaust and front mount as the only performance related modes tied to the new motor.
The car was amazing to drive and for about 18 months years the only changes were better shocks and springs (KYB Yellow fronts & Bilstein rears) and some custom Aurora springs from SA.
Along with removing the HICAS (RB30E PS pump used) and installing solid sub frame bushes from a Z31).
There were also some Black Racing RS-8 style wheels I purchased off a friend at the time (but only a set of 3), I ran these on the front (gold rattle can paint of course) and the CSA at the rear, it looked like dogshit so I found some Impul 16" 5 spoke wheels and rattle can painted the wheels gold (you will see a theme here) and also had a Blitz R-VIT? fitted and tuned by Dr. Drift it made ~160rwkw.
Did a drag day or two and loved driving the car as a daily whilst I finished Uni.
Again, not many photos I can find of the standard Silvertop look
Wheezy Phase 2
Things started to get serious when I decided since my university degree was complete I could afford to turn the car into a semi street/track car.
So I purchased an NA CA18 S13 and took the HR31 off the road.
Initially I thought ~6 months to paint, install suspension, brakes, turbo upgrade, injectors, fuel pump and ECU would be a reasonable time.
I was wrong. About 20 Months later I had the car finished.
I went through a few turbo, manifold and ECU combinations before settling on a full Trust TD06SL2-20G hot side with trust manifold, PowerFC, Blitz clutch, RX7 injectors, Bosch 023 fuel pump, R33GTST brakes, JIC Coilovers (second hand), bucket seats, rebuilt diff, Kakimoto stainless exahaust and an eBay cut and shut Front Facing Plenum.
I also purchased new from Simmons some custom fit FR17s in 3 piece as they were the only wheels I could get at the time which I liked the design of and were not drug money. (Ironically 2 weeks after ordering the Simmons I found brand new Volk GT-C's for the same price, but it was too late).
The car made ~270-280rwkw on the unopened RB20DET silver top (tuned by Trent @ Chequered) and was scary AF to drive for the sort of power street cars were generally making at the time (This was ~2007).
It got an R31 House Bonnet at one point along the way, new BC/Emotion Coilovers, cam gears, oil cooler, RB30 radiator (twin core) and E85 (EV14's & Walbro 460 pump).
The above shot is from the cars photo shoot for HPI Magazine.
I did a number of hill climbs, drag days, track days, show and shines etc over the next 10 years.
The last thing I did before it's last track day was R33 steering rack fabrication/installation, braided brake lines and new slotted and dimpled rotors (dog bones & R33 GTR discs up front now) and some Kuhmo semis on much lighter single piece wheels.
In Oct 2017 I spun a bearing in it for the second time since the TD06 was fitted. (likely my negligence TBH).
The first time we slapped bearings in and sent it; that lasted 8 years. But this time the knock was bad so engine out.
Wheezy Phase 3 (Current Build)
This is likely my 2nd to 3rd house deposit sunk into this particular vehicle. Quite depressing...
In December 2017 I purchased a S1 RB25DET from an R33 GTST Automatic (sighted running). Again full running gear on the engine etc.
I was going to put this engine in with the existing setup (although concerned the L2 was too small). But as I started stripping off accessories and checking the engine out I decided I didn't like the idea of a 25 year old engine going back in and breaking the next time I go to Sandown.
So now I'm building a forged RB25DET, have a brand new RB25DET gearbox from Nissan and a TD06SH-25G from Trust to fit onto my manifold. (Yes I could go GTX GenII and 6Boost, but I'm a die hard Trust turbo guy for now and didn't want to totally re-do the hot side just yet)
Oh and the Simmons are also gone!!!
The engine bay was painted (as it was never done in the phase 2 build) and 10+ years have passed since then.
The original panel beaters painted again and commented how well looked after the paint was (I think the car has driven ~15K since then).
I was hoping for the engine to be completed by the time I came back from Japan last week but unfortunately there has been a wait (good things come to those who wait right?).
So likely the engine will be back ~July and I can get the thing running and back on the road by October at earliest (which means December based on past history).
The car needs Brembo's, Fixed back drivers seat, some new wheels from Japan (18's this time) and a more modern ECU to protect the engine and get more out of the built motor.
Along with the above, there are a heap of trims and seals I want to replace as aftermarket options become available as Genuine seals and rubbers are almost non existent for HR31s.
I've probably missed a heap of things, but that is what I can recall over the time I've owned it.
Hopefully I can provide some updates are I start to show some tangible progress.